Most people assume free online colleges do not exist. Sadly, 68% of college graduates in 2015 completed their education with over $30,000 in student loan debt, and that amount has increased by almost 10% in the past two years. More and more students are starting their lives with the weight of their education bearing down on their shoulders.
The American government has fought back against student loan debt by providing something called a Pell Grant to low-income families, which is a grant that is free and clear of any strings and that will not have to be paid back. However, 88% of students who receive a Pell Grant in 2012 still had loans with a balance of over $30,000.
College tuition is getting more expensive, which puts a lot of stress on prospective students, but these ten free online colleges and degree programs are eliminating the stress for some students. There are many reputable — and even prestigious — schools that offer tuition-free college education to students, but the ten schools we’ve listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require a work program so they are truly free online colleges, and online degree programs. They are listed in alphabetical order, and the requirements for each school to provide a student free tuition are listed.
10 Tuition-Free Online Colleges with Online Degree Programs
Barclay College is a private Christian college located in Haviland, Kansas and was founded in the year 1917. Scott T. Clark, an evangelist, and teacher founded what was known as the Kansas Central Bible Training School at a Quaker high school called Haviland Friends Academy. The school underwent several name changes as it developed, becoming Friends Bible College in 1930 after a two-year junior college course was added five years prior. In 1968, the school was more geared towards becoming a four-year institution, because of this decision, the high school program was shut down. Their efforts were fully recognized when they received accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education in 1975. In 1990, the final title of Barclay College was adopted to honor Robert Barclay, who was the first Quaker theologian.
Barclay College is a Christian college, so it is mostly known for their ministry degrees, but other professional fields are offered there. Some of them include business managementand psychology. The school’s mission is to prepare students in a Bible-centered environment for effective Christian life, service, and leadership. They are so committed to ensuring students can receive this education that the school offers free tuition to all students. They have provided a program since 2007 where every accepted student receives a full-tuition scholarship of $14,000 that covers everything, including room and board, as well as other fees.
Brown University is a private Ivy League Research University located in Providence, Rhode Island. The school was founded in 1764, and at that time was the first and only school to allow students to attend regardless of their religion. Brown–as the school is often called–is one of the nine Colonial Colleges and is the seventh oldest institution of higher education in the country. The school has many impressive accolades, such as being the pioneer of the first Ivy League Engineering Program in 1847 and being one of the earlier schools to confer doctoral degrees by adding Master’s and Doctoral programs 40 years later. The university is divided into six different schools: The College; the Graduate School; Alpert Medical School; the School of Engineering; the School of Public Health and; the School of Professional Studies.
Through these six schools, 88 different undergraduate degrees are available in 20 various areas of study comprised of 56 different majors. Uniquely, students also have to ability to create their own concentrations, to ensure that they’re getting a tailored education that suits their needs. Brown is so committed to providing students with a quality education, that they have been offering students free tuition since 2008. As long as a family has a yearly income of less than $60,000, the student will not have to pay the nearly $50,000 per year to attend the University. Additionally, if a family makes less than $100,000, significant grants are available to students versus traditional student loans.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League Research University, which is often called simply Columbia. However, it is officially known of Columbia University in the City of New York. The school was founded in 1754, making it the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and also one of the nine Colonial Colleges. Located in Upper Manhattan, it is home to the oldest college in New York. The school underwent several name changes before becoming what we know it to be today. Throughout the years 1754 to 1784, it was a royal university called King’s College that was established by George II of Great Britain; it became Columbia College after the Revolutionary War and was no longer a royal university, but a private one. In 1787, a charter placed the school under a board of trustees that renamed it Columbia University in 1896 following a transfer to its current campus in Morningside Heights.
Columbia is one of the most exclusive and prestigious universities in the country, and in the Ivy League, with a very rich history. It was the first school in America to grant a Doctor of Medicine degree and was the birthplace of inventions such as the laser and the FM radio. Columbia University is also where the first uranium atom was split on North American territory. It is made up of twenty individual schools. These are the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; the School of the Arts; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Barnard College; Columbia Business School; College of Physicians and Surgeons; Columbia College; College of Dental Medicine; Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; School of General Studies; School of International and Public Affairs; the Jewish Theological Seminary; the Columbia Journalism School; the Columbia Law School; the School of Nursing; the School of Professional Studies; the Mailman School of Public Health; the School of Social Work; the Teachers College; and the Union Theological Seminary. Columbia University offers full-ride scholarships to every student whose family makes less than $60,000 annually.
Cornell University is a private Ivy League, sea-grant, space-grant, and private land-grant doctoral research university. Cornell, as the school is commonly referred, was founded in the year 1865 in Ithaca New York. It is the only private land-grant university in the state of New York, one of only three in the country. The school has consistently been a non-sectarian and co-educational institute since it was established, never discriminating on the basis of race or religion. This is incredibly unique for its time, as was the original mission of the school to provide all students with an education in any field. Adherent to their mission, the school presently has a massive and diverse student body of over 20,000 students from all 50 states, and over 120 countries around the world.
Cornell University is divided into 14 distinct schools that function almost independently, with each having their own academic programs and admission standards. The schools include the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management; the College of Engineering; the Graduate School; the School of Hotel Administration; the College of Human Ecology; the School of Industrial and Labor Relations; the Cornell Law School; the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences; the Weill Cornell Medical College; Cornell Tech; and the College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to this, the university also operates eCornell, their online counterpart that provides students with various certificates and professional development courses entirely online. To qualify for the free tuition offered by Cornell, the student’s family has to have a total income of less than $60,000 per year.